Carley Petesch, a longtime editor in Africa who has reported from Nigeria and South Africa for The Associated Press, has been named a West Africa correspondent for the news organization.

The appointment was announced Thursday by Africa regional editor Andrew Selsky.

Petesch has served as an editor on the Africa Desk in Johannesburg since 2009, working with the AP's stringers across the continent. During reporting stints, she has covered illegal gold mining and the weeks of unrest after police shootings at a South African platinum mine. She also reported from Nigeria.

"Petesch has a wide knowledge of the issues and challenges facing the continent," said West Africa bureau chief Krista Larson. "She also has an eye for finding stories about arts and culture, and daily life."

Petesch, 36, a native of Deerfield, Illinois, previously worked on the International Desk at AP's headquarters in New York, reporting from the United Nations and editing copy from around the world.

She holds a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. She graduated from Duke University, where she studied psychology, dance and French.